“I was the girl with the iron leg; It’s something that marks you for life.”

The beginning of the school year is preceded by an unfortunate event, which in a way is a mirror in which no one wants to look. “He got home and the first thing he did was burst into tears and said that this life is shit, that he doesn’t want to live anymore”. It wasn’t long before the complaint went viral. So Izan’s older brother raised his voice on social media, a Majorcan minor who brought a cake to school to celebrate his birthday and was humiliated with terms like “fat” and “sea”.

to donostiarra Rye Gaga She was called “the one with the iron leg”. The humiliations at school have been constant since they put a brace on one leg because of a hip condition. “Nobody wanted to be with me,” he recalls. The bullying doesn’t stop from the age of six until high school graduation. And the nightmares of all these episodes of child abuse accompany him into his adult life.

“You know when you really get over it? When you go to a school dinner, at EGB, and sit next to one of the biggest instigators of it all. I did it and I felt no anger. I felt calm,” admits this woman, head of the INbuyen Institute, which works to resolve this type of conflict.

Police are investigating whether there were further assaults in the Izan case before the humiliating video uploaded to Instagram.

The brother claims “He has been at this school for four years, enduring insults, fights and spitting” while the teachers “close their eyes”. An incident that reflects a reality that has come to the fore in Basque educational centers.

Peer bullying is actually one of the issues of greatest concern in the socio-educational field due to the serious effects it has on students’ personal and social development and learning.

“You really get over the trauma when you go to a school dinner and sit next to one of the biggest instigators. I did it and I felt no anger. I felt calm”

Eider Centeno – Donostiarra bullied at school

Evidence of this concern is the various measures adopted in schools against bullying, such as the Kiva program, imported from Finland and already implemented in 90% of ikastolas, and the Bizikazi initiative, with which the Basque government wants to protect centers of violence.

This is a phenomenon from which the school cannot abstract itself, affected by the existing social problems in its environment. In fact, Last year, the Ministry of Education revealed 129 cases of bullying. These are figures that represent a significant increase compared to the incidents found in the previous year, when there were hundreds of cases.

Development of cases identified as bullying in schools in the Basque Country NG


They all respond to the same pattern: repeated and sustained abuse over time, away from the sight of adults and with the intention of humiliating and subjugating the defenseless victim. That is, there is an imbalance of power and vulnerability of those who endure this situation, and an intention to harm the other sustained over time.

However, the Ministry of Education points out that the increase in cases is explained by the fact that the detection radar is becoming more extensive. Almost a thousand suspected cases were investigated last year, compared to 795 the previous year, which is well up on the 32 risk situations found 12 years ago.

A reality to consider, moreover, after two years of a pandemic that left a dent at an early age. According to the latest data on the mental health of children and adolescents collected by the Observatory of Childhood and Adolescence of the Basque Government, un a total of 15,863 boys and girls under the age of 18 were treated in 2021 in the Network of Mental Health Services of the Basque Autonomous Region25.5% -3117 boys and girls- in Gipuzkoa.

The public debate surrounding it, and bullying in particular, has a positive reading for Centeno, who thinks about what he thinks it means Izan case. “The kid would have stayed at home, but after everything that happened became public, he felt empowered,” the expert says.

The video received a wide response on the Internet and social networks and achieved the solidarity of dozens of famous characters who expressed their support, as is the case with Ibay Lanossinger Aitana or the football player Antoine Griezmann. “It is positive that it is being visualized because usually these cases are not known. The educational centers are doing what they can, but they don’t have enough funds and they tend to cover up, to hide these situations, so that the center’s prestige is not called into question, “says San Sebastián.


Figures from the Ministry of Education reveal that most bullying episodes occur in secondary education. 78 of the 129 cases that appeared last year were found in this educational stage, which represents 60.5% of the total.

There is another fact to consider that shows that bullying adapts to changes in society. In 37.7% of cases, the violence was committed through social networks, the Internet or other cybernetic means. In this regard, the founder of the INbuyen Institute reasoned that “every minor is a saint, and depending on his or her way of being, an insult can be worse for him or her than a physical beating,” she explains.

That’s how he felt with that iron brace he wore on his leg, like the character in the movie Forest Gump. “Then you leave the school scene and you feel a bit down, like you don’t fit in. Nightmares, the basis of which I did not fully know, accompanied me until the age of 40, until I took the bull by the horns and overcame it.

He usually tells now-adults who were once bullied students that to turn the page, they need to face that “trauma” head-on. “You’re a girl who’s somehow in the hands of the system when you’re going through all this,” she says, confident that with time and personal effort she can overcome it.

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